How Clemson and Ohio State built College Football Playoff teams through recruiting

  • ESPN staff writer
  • Joined ESPN in 2011
  • Graduated from Central Michigan

Ohio State and Clemson are meeting once again in the College Football Playoff semifinals in a rematch from last season, when the Tigers beat the Buckeyes 29-23. The two will play on Friday in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and on the ESPN App.

These two teams consistently find themselves in the playoff picture and national championship hunt, and a big reason for that is how successful both have been on the recruiting trail. They regularly rank in the top 10 in recruiting rankings and routinely sign some of the top prospects in the country.

Recruiting plays a big role in whether a team has a shot at making the College Football Playoff and ultimately winning a national championship. Every team that has won a national championship in the playoff era has had at least one top-five recruiting class in the four years prior to winning, and every winner has averaged better than a top-10 class ranking for those four years.

Clemson and Ohio State are looking to continue that statistic this year, and since the two are facing off, here is a look at how both teams have been built through recruiting.

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